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tv   [untitled]    July 21, 2014 7:30am-8:01am PDT

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it wasn't enough to just move information around but an opportunity to update all of our content. of course i had no idea how much work that would be. [ laughter ] but this week is a team effort at mod. we delivered our new content to the web master and he's going to be developing a scope of work and once we agree, he'll be freezing the design and once he freezes the design i will have an estimate of what you can expect to see our brand new accessible website. i will keep you posted. my last item really is to give a shout out to the independent living resource center in san francisco about an upcoming event and ilrc sf is celebrating the 24th anniversary by signing the
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ada at the fully accessible headquarters. the details on saturday july 26, '10 a.m.-3 :00 p.m.. the public is very much invited. the location is on the ground floor on howard street between 4th and 5th street in the south market area. there is food, disability quilting, kid friendly events and will have sign language interpretation. i hope to see everybody there. so that concludes my director's report and at this point i would like to turn the microphone over to heather kittel or ada compliance coordinator to hear her reports on complaints and service request for accommodation. thank you. >> good afternoon, councilmembers and cochairs.
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last month in june our office received 64 in inquiries and we provided information referrals, service request and ada technical assistance. 81 percent of these inquiries from the public and 19 percent from the city department. there were also four curb ramp request and 3 request for accommodations. the request for accommodations involved blue zone parking request outside of homes and we also received 7 complaints which is in addition to two complaints we received from the previous month in may. we believe the increase is due to the large number of construction projects that are happening simultaneously in the city. the majority of these complaints that we received mostly involved disruption in the public right-of-way due to the construction vehicles blocking access to crosswalks or on street disabled
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parking. in these cases we were able to interact quickly through sf mta which included the street inspectors. this is also a reminder to the public, if you notice construction activity blocking an accessible path of travel without an alternative safe path, please call our office at 415-554-67 89. that's our voice. you can also contact us through t ty. 415. 554. 6799 and call 311. our additional complaint in the funding housing city program and lack of communication access at a homeless shelter. in this case, at the television set in the common room of the homeless shelter was not set
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to have captions displayed for people who had hearing loss. as a reminder and it's a city ordinance that it's a requirement to have captions displayed on tv monitors. once again, if you experience any of these issues in a city facility or city program, please give us a call so we can remedy the situation immediately and you can reach us again by calling us at 415. 554-6789 and you can reach us by tty 415, 5546799 or call us at 311 and we'll also receive it. thank you. >> thank you. moving ahead, we
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have item no. 6, information item. uber and future efforts to include people with disabilities. uber will share details of the technology and how their services can support customers with disabilities. presentation by caitlin o'neil and policy associate. >> i have a powerpoint here. are you able to see that somehow? great. >> can i have the control room place this up. look at that. great. thank you. thank you so much for having mi. my name is caitlin o'neil. i work on policy issues for uber. we are do wn the street on market. we are glad to be here so we can engage in these types of conversations with
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everyone. i'm here today to discuss issues of access for disabilities. we want to continue to have these discussions to talk about how we can improve mobility in san francisco. my presentation today is called uber mobility ability. we want to talk about the services we provide and also get feedback about what we can do better because there is always various rooms for improvement. >> can you speak into the microphone? >> sure. is anyone here familiar with uber or used the services before? okay. i will give an overview for those who haven't. ub er is a technology to connect with people who need a ride. we do that through the app. as you know technology is really changing
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the way people move around the city. we are happy to be a part of that. like i said, uber is really evolving the way that the world moves and by connecting riders through our app we are able to provide more transportation alternatives and increase riders. we are very proud of the increased mobility that we've created for our users with disabilities across san francisco and the bay area. we are very excited about what technology can do to increase that mobility and there is still much more to come. uber's motion del is everyone's private driver. we hope to be that service for everyone. so, what uber does is provide a reliable, very fast access to safe and efficient transportation options. we compliment san francisco's
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existing transportation options like public transportation and taxis and other modes of transportation. we really amplify the ability for people to get around. on top of that we offer a flexible and convenient economic opportunity to partner with us to become driver including those with disabilities. that's something we are very proud of. so how does uber work? i want to explain to people so you get a sense exactly what our app looks like. customers who have the application can create a prearranged reservation through the free smartphone app. what happens after the riders makes that request is that a driver nearby, the nearest driver is alerted of the fare and given the customers information of location and pick up through their driver app. so what happens then is once the driver picks up the rider, we
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use gps location information to determine the fare. at that point, once the rider is dropped off at their location, the rider then receives a detailed receipt of the price and location about the driver. so, you can open uber app and request a transportation provider pretty much all of the time. we are very proud to say that our response rates are now about three minutes 3 minutes to get a ride anywhere in the city which is very very fast compared to other modes of transportation. you can contact your driver via text message or via phone call while you are waiting for them to arrive while they locate you. if you have any request or pick up information, you
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can do that right away. we are very proud of our app because it helps to eliminate any kind of discrimination in terms of pick up transportation because other modes of transportation really lacks that accountability factor. there is an anonymous feeling between who is the driver, who was the rider. it's very difficult oftentimes to report any instances of disability. we are glad that we can remove that by providing a very clear feedback process. so, if you are a rider, this is something that is very important. if you are a rider and request a driver from uber app. you know who is picking you up and you know the car and license driver and that's a safety issue as well so you know you are getting into the right car. you are able to share your trip which is a big safety thing. once you enter the vehicle, there is a
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button that says "share my eta" and people can see where you are at all times. we have very fast and responsive customer service. customers are very pleased with our response time and feedback issues. and, we are also able to show you clearly the time of arrival to get to your destination. uber partners with many different types of vehicles. these are the models we have now. these are options at any price point. we want to be affordable and accessible to anyone. you may have heard these different options being referred to before. we have uber black which was our first model and this is a town car option. there is uber suv
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which is for times that you need more space, this is a bigger option and uber x is everyday cars. this is our peer to peer products that we have. then there is also uber taxi which allows us to partner with existing taxi models. another thing that is really important is pricing transparency. we don't want there to be any surprises at the end of the day when you are trying to get somewhere. when you request a ride you are able to get an estimation of exactly how much it will cost from point to point before you request the driver to arrive. you will see a fare quote immediately and you have the option of splitting the fare. if you are riding with more than 1 person, you can enter in there name, and share the fare with the app. this is a cash less transaction, your charge is on your card at the
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end of the ride so you don't have to worry about a cash transaction. another thing we take very seriously is partner on boarding. we mean the driver on uber app. all of our uber partners have to go through a rigorous process. one is a background check. we both include national, multistate, county, federal court house, background checks as well as motor vehicle records. also there is a training process once they are on boarded and we make sure accessibility is a big part of that. we expect requirements to comply with all existing accessibility laws tools to
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applicable to all transportation providers and guide dogs that must be accepted at all times. we also have a very serious policy on non-discrimination for provider services and user review because the user can review the driver at the end of every trip. so, we'll talk a little bit about providing services for the blind and visually impaired. that's something that our app is very accessible. we have a voice over compatible app. every aspect of using the app can be done over voice over. service animals are also welcome. any driver that refuses to accept service animal will be deactivated from the uber platform. that's something we
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take very seriously and there is realtime feedback that provides us the ability to address concerns and remove drivers from the platform as soon as possible as well. for deaf and hard of hearing users, we partnered with hearing impaired drivers which is something that is really unique. they are able to use the technology to communicate with their passengers. and we have a very strong deaf driver group in many cities. and they are able to use tablets to communicate with their passengers when they enter the vehicle. the uber app for users, riders is in incredibly deaf friendly. when they are placing a request to tracking the arrival of their vehicle, all the way to payment. it's very accessible in that way. so wheelchair accessibility another important consideration. uber harnesses
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our technology for our users requiring wheelchair access biblt and other mobility considerations to get around. in many cities we've made this a big priority. for example, in chicago, there is a wheelchair accessible request option when you are choosing to request a driver, you can request that that vehicle be wheelchair accessible right from the start. in washington d.c. i shall has se dan only options. we are not pioneering for many markets that exist for a big national roll out of this. on top of that we are developing vehicle financing options and incentive programs for partners to add wheelchair accessible vehicles to our fleets. this is necessary, we have to have the supply in
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order to provide those services. we are committed to wheelchair accessible options in san francisco and we are partnering with wheelchair accessible options here. that's a big priority for us. another area of accessibility is for senior citizens. we played a major role for assisting mobility for seniors and able to provide transportation to and from all neighborhoods. it's a non-discrimination policy. your driver is to take you wherever you decide to go. same for pick up. that way we serve the traditionally under served by public transportation and by taxi areas. seniors typically request for themselves or through relatives and friends and care takers who can do that on their behalf. it's an
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economic opportunity for a person that can drive. maybe they are retired and they can do this on their free time. the only other thing about the app, you don't have to have a smartphone, it's web enabled even from your home computer. so, now i want to talk a little bit about feedback because this is very important. the accountability aspect that i mentioned before. uber requires all of it's partners to comply with accessibility laws. uber's technology allows for efficient and effective enforcement of our policy. this is something we take very seriously. uber user can contact uber from their app as they are using it or by e-mail afterwards. within the app there is something that says support, users can connect directly there from the drop down menu and submit feedback
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immediately and within the app they can do so after they have completed the trip. we have support at uber .com which is a very responsive e-mail address and they can contact that directly or apply to the receipt that they receive via e-mail. feedback is a critical response issue to uber. we've really made it a priority. so, at this point, i want to thank you all for hearing more about our service and open it up to anyone who might have questions or feedback to how we can improve our accessibility services. >> thank you very much for being here today. i think i speak for everyone here at the council that just having you here to do presentations and take some of our questions as well as the public's questions. i have a lot of questions, i'm going to see
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if anyone has questions. championship? chip. >> yes, i have a few comments. i want to recognize that you are able to serve the disabled community more efficiently and effectively. first there is a lot more to go in san francisco. you provide incentives for drivers to purchase in order to accommodate wheelchair users and other persons with mobility disabilities, mobility issues. but that's not guaranteed. you are putting the own us on the driver on the independent contract or. i would like to see a program where you provide financing for people to do it at a reasonable rate that they can afford, that can
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be paid over time rather than them having to secure a loan on their own in order to purchase or alter a vehicle. >> i'm glad you are mentioning that. this is something that is new to uber is our vehicle financing program just starting this year. we do that for both green car to it yota and they are able to make the payment through their earnings. we hope that makes it easier on our driver partners to make that choice, but like you said, it's still a choice. yeah, i'm interested in hearing feedback about how we can improve. >> one of the effects you are having on the local taxi industry is that because drivers are migrating to uber and people are using uber, there is less tax ice. they
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can't afford to run their equipped vehicles, their lift vehicles. >> you are talking about taxis? >> yes. over time there is less an less available for persons with disabilities and makes it harder to get a ride and longer wait time, frustration, missed appointments, lots of havoc in people's lives. i would like to know that there is a vigorous effort to provide these services. right. then also i suppose this is a sign of the times, but there are people who don't own smartphones and are not very literate with computers at a lot of people with disabilities don't have a lot of money and aren't able to afford these items, either.
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so, is there some effort being made to reach these folks to become more inclusive of the general public? >> yeah. that's something that we are always interested in ways to make our services more accessible to everyone. i totally hear you about the web enabled devices. one thing we made a priority is to make sure it's available on every web enabled device so you don't need to have this new iphone to access our services but looking for other ways via phone is something i will take note of. >> okay. finally. some folks don't have credit cards. some people live on cash. so, is there someway to purchase a card that can be used on uber
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in a form of a cash card or gift card or something that people can use that rather than a traditional credit card? >> that's actually a great idea. there is not currently, but i like the idea of being able to purchase something like a gift card with cash that you can use on the app. that's really interesting . we noted that people tend to prefer the cash less option especially for our users who are blind. we heard a lot of nightmare stories about taxis who take the long way or don't give back the right amount of change. that's been the struggle. we are happy to eliminate those worries. but that's interesting point that you bring up. thank you. >> okay. thank you. >> hello, again. i have a few questions. we have questions from councilmembers as well. to follow up on what chip
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said with the request regarding the wheelchair accessibility. when you have uber lifts in this city providing competition with taxis and limousines and making it a little bit more difficult sometimes to have access to some of these wheelchair accessible vehicles. there is a regulation in place that there needs to be a certain amount of wheelchair accessible vehicles. when you say we are great on wheelchair accessibility and proud of this, but i don't see this in place. it's solely dependent on finding the drivers to even purchase them. what you are doing is you are really betting the farm so to speak that there are going to be these drivers out there and more than enough to be able to accommodate. you are
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amplifying but you are also competing saying that we are going to provide this service that's all based on the drivers that come forward. that to me doesn't speak to any measure in place to actually provide that service. more so, it's just the drivers will be there and that's where it's left off. i would love to be able to find minimum requirements that are in place for a number of wheelchair accessible vehicles and more information on the actual cars that are shown which are wheelchair accessible and more information on people with disabilities and people being able to incorporate and drive these cars. if there are no wheelchair accessible vehicles, they have to and they want to have economic opportunities. i hear one thing, but i'm not really seeing the end result. could it be possible to actually have in place minimum requirements? >> yeah, you are totally
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right that one of the biggest challenges is the price of the vehicles. if it's on the driver, it's going to be a huge challenge both for us to provide incentive and for the driver to actually make a purchase like that when they are unsure maybe what the pay out will be on that. so we are always looking for different ways to incentivize that. we are also shown a lot of interest in partnering with the city for contracts for something like that. what there is potential for in a partnership like that is that the city could set requirements at that point that we would be happy to comply with in order to have a contract available to make these kinds of vehicles more accessible. >> that sounds like a great idea. sure. i'm trying to add substance. moving forward to the hard of hearing. i love hearing about reaching out to that community. when talking about having access to
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communicating with the passengers via tablets are you referring to vrs, video relay services? >> i wish i knew the exact specific devices. i know those are used in some cases as well as ipads, where they go back and forth. >> so for deaf drivers, maybe more preferential to using asl instead of simple texting. if you have these video relay services in place, you are still going off a delay and having asl interpretation. there is a cost measure too trying to provide everything through technology has it's limitations to a degree. i think i just have one or two more. we have harriet and
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roland have questions. in regards to meeting the -- the training , the on board training process for the drivers. how long is this training? is it a week, days? >> it's a couple days. it's a process, there is a training process they go through on their own that happens through their computer. so different training sessions that they must complete and then also an in person training that happens where they must come to receive the device that they will be using and have the vehicle inspected. >> what i'm curious about and i don't think it's any news or anybody in the amount of money in funding that comes with uber and lift have available to them. it would seem they
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would want to go for not the minimum requirement of training but more for using that capital to actually hiring accessibility coordinators and having in depth training assesses -- sessions and used these throughout the year. instead of we don't have the funds, or we are a scrapie start up. that's not the case. the salaries that some of the drivers are able to pull in, the incentivizing. what's the current pay rates for drivers in the city? >> i'm not sure in the san francisco. but drivers who do this full time are able to do very well for themselves. they are able to provide and use this on a full time basis. >> so if